Through the lens of rankism, it becomes understandable why the complaints in May 2014 by Flint resident Bethany Hazard of a murky, foamy water coming from her taps went nowhere. She was told instead that Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) analysis of the water met with state standards.
How would you feel if you realized your children's water was being poisoned, and your government didn't seem to care? That's the story of the parents of 8,000 mostly poor and black children in Flint, Mich., that has finally hit our media front pages. The fact that most Americans realize this would never happen in affluent white Michigan suburbs (or any other white affluent communities in our country), still doesn't penetrate our very souls. This fundamental contrast between black and white experiences in Michigan, just north of my hometown of Detroit, points to the structural racism that is still the primary moral contradiction of American life.
The pipeline -- a project that must be first approved by President Obama -- would transport millions of barrels of a type of crude that contains 20 percent more carbon than the conventional kind. Scientists have warned that if this project were completed, it would mean game over for the planet's climate.